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Throughout his investigation into the 2016 disappearance of Kristal Reisinger, “Up and Vanished" podcast host Payne Lindsey kept coming across one name — John Keenan, a man who goes by the moniker “Catfish John.”
Reisinger met Catfish, who has never been charged in connection with her case, when she moved to the small town of Crestone, Colorado, in search of spiritual enlightenment. Her boyfriend at the time, “Dready Brian,” introduced her to Catfish as well as Nathan Peloquin, whom she started dating in 2015 after breaking up with Brian.
In the weeks leading up to her disappearance, both Peloquin and Catfish reported seeing Reisinger, with Catfish telling investigators she came over to his house around his birthday, July 21, and that the two smoked marijuana and drank wine.
While Reisinger was not reported missing until July 30, the last time loved ones heard from her was on July 14, a week earlier. Her former boyfriend, Elijah Guana, told “Up and Vanished” that she called him nearly every day to speak their 4-year-old daughter, Kasha, and it was unnatural not to hear from her.
It was also reported that she was seen at a full moon drum circle ceremony on July 18, but it has not been confirmed.
“There’s some timelines that aren’t being matched up with it,” Saguache County Sheriff Dan Warwick told “Up and Vanished,” airing Saturdays at 7/6c on Oxygen. “It makes it harder to be able to track every step that she took during that time.”
Before she went missing, Reisinger told multiple people, including Guana and Peloquin, that she had been drugged and raped. She told Guana she knew two of the men who assaulted her, but she did not recognize other men who were there. She also told Peloquin that it happened at Catfish’s house.
In an interview with the podcast, Peloquin recounted picking Reisinger up after the alleged attack.
“She called me on June 28 … and I took care of her for like the next two weeks because I never seen her that scared. And I told her like to go to the police,” Peloquin said. “She told me that he held her there. He wouldn’t let her leave. It was a couple weeks before she went missing.”
Catfish denied any type of assault took place at his home, telling Lindsey, “Why would I hurt the girl? I barely knew her.”
Reisinger never reported the alleged rape to law enforcement, and two weeks later, she vanished.
When family came searching for the 29-year-old at her apartment, they found she had left behind several personal items, including her cell phone, computer, and clothing. The front door was locked, and there was no sign of a struggle.
“Our theory is that Kristal was going to report the rape to police or confront the men about it, and then she was murdered on or around July 14, when she went off the radar,” Lindsey said.
While the podcast has reignited public interest in Reisinger’s case and led to national media attention, no arrests have been made in connection to her disappearance.
In the years following, Catfish left Crestone, and his house was reportedly cleared out.
“According to the police, Catfish had gutted his house out and cleaned everything, bleached everything, got rid of all of his computers, and got rid of all kinds of stuff,” Guana said.
A search warrant was not issued for his home, said the sheriff’s office.
During an interview with the podcast, Catfish claimed Brian sent him a message on Facebook admitting that he had killed Reisinger. Catfish says he took a screenshot of the conversation, which he has refused to share with the “Up and Vanished” team.
He also denied that he was protecting Brian, who has never been charged in Reisinger’s disappearance, from legal prosecution, telling Lindsey in an on-camera interview that he hopes Reisinger is “alive and well.”
Catfish went on to maintain that she had not been drugged or shot inside his house. When asked why he thought that Reisinger had told Peloquin she had been raped there, he responded, “First of all, I don’t know this and because she was probably cheating on him as her boyfriend. And that’s my guess is she was probably scared of him ‘cause he’s a creepy ass kid.”
Catfish continues to deny having anything to do with her disappearance. Reisinger remains missing, and her family is still searching for answers.
If you have any information in connection to the case, please call the sheriff's office at 719-655-2525.
Tune in to “Up and Vanished” on Saturdays at 7/6c on Oxygen.
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